It took us a long time until one of our big dreams came true. Three road trips around Australia, 90’000 kilometers and 732 days later and we finally found kangaroos at the beach. Our expectations are high as we heard about the kangaroos at Lucky Beach from many people. We can’t wait to get to Cape Le Grand National Park and especially Lucky Bay.
The beaches in the Cape Le Grand National Park are famous for the white sand. We wonder how Lucky Bay will be as many Australians and other travelers have told us about the amazing beaches. “The beach at Lucky Bay is the whitest beach in the world”, a young backpacker tells us excitedly.
Well, we are a bit spoilt regarding beaches and in our opinion the most beautiful beaches are in the Maldives. We have seen many beaches on planet earth but so far, we have not seen a nicer beach than the ones in the Maldives. But honestly, Lucky Bay is indeed the whitest beach we have ever seen so far.
Our visit to the Cape Le Grand National Park and in particular Lucky Bay is not only because of the beaches but to see kangaroos at the beach. We learn that the kangaroos are coming to the beach at Lucky Bay to drink and eat. At some areas along the beach there is fresh water flowing into the sea. That’s where the kangaroos are drinking.
Once we get to the beach we can’t believe it. Yes, there they are. Finally, we see kangaroos at the beach.
We love to watch the curious kangaroos. Their fur is fluffy and very soft.
While the kangaroos are eating and drinking they do not care what is around them. They are fully concentrated and don’t care when we get closer to take photos. They simply ignore us.
Do you like to see dancing and kissing kangaroos? Watch this:
We are totally exited. We have seen kangaroos on the beach. A dream came true.
There is a lot more to do and see at Cape Le Grand National Park besides watching kangaroos on the beach at Lucky Bay.
Which is the most beautiful bay in the Cape Le Grand National Park?
There are five bays in the Cape Le Grand National Park. The Hellfire Bay, Thistle Cove and Lucky Bay are the most visited bays in the national park. There is also the Esperance Bay with the Le Grand Beach and the Rossiter Bay.
If you have limited time you have to decide which of the bays you want to visit. But which one is the most beautiful?
For swimming we think Thistle Cove and the Hellfire Bay are the best. The crystal clear water with the snow-white beach is so kitschy, it feels unreal.
Driving on the beach
If you like driving on the beach, you can do it at Lucky Bay. The sand in the first section is hard and it’s possible to drive on the beach with a normal car. If you want to drive to the end of Lucky Bay, a 4WD is highly recommended as some sections are soft. You may need to drop the tire pressure to avoid that you get bogged.
By the way, Lucky Bay is also great for photo shootings.
At low tide it is also possible to drive from Esperance to Le Grand Beach on the beach. During high season there is lots of action going on as Australians love to drive with their 4WD’s on the beach.
Climbing the Frenchman Peak for amazing views
You have enough from the beach? How about climbing to the summit of Frenchman Peak? The top of Frenchmans Peak is only 262 meters high.
The 3 km return walk starts from the parking lot. It is a short but steep walk and it takes us about an hour to get to the top.
Up there we get rewarded with fantastic views. We stand there and have a great overlook over the national park and the beautiful bays.
By the way, the shape of the top bit looks a bit like a “Beret”, the traditional French hat. That’s where the name “Frenchman Peak” comes from.
More hiking options in the Cape Le Grand National Park
How about the Le Grand Coastal Trail? The 15 km long coastal walk connects Le Grand Beach with the Rossiter Bay. You can do single sections or the whole trail.
The Le Grand Coastal Trail starts at Le Grand Beach. From there the trail goes inland along Mt Le Grand, then to the Hellfire Bay, the Thistle Cove and to the Lucky Bay. Along the beach it continues to the Lucky Bay Lookout. The last section takes you across the Mississippi Hill and finally to Rossiter Bay.
The Le Grand Coastal Trail can be done in one day. It is recommended to start early in the morning. Take plenty of water and don’t forget sun protection, as most of the way is exposed.
Sections of the Le Grand Coastal Trail
From where to where – Hiking time – Difficulty
- Le Grand Beach to Hellfire Bay – approx. 3 hours – difficult
- Hellfire Bay to Thistle Cove – approx. 2.5 hours – difficult
- Thistle Cove to Lucky Bay – approx. 1 hour – easy
- Lucky Bay to Rossiter Bay – approx. 2 hours – medium
Hiking from Lucky Bay to Thistle Cove
We stayed at the Lucky Bay Campground and one morning we did the coastal walk from Lucky Bay to Thistle Cove. It is a nice and easy walk through bush and over small hills. There are many sections which offer great views of the sea and the surrounding bays.
You don’t feel for hiking?
Then there is the 40 km scenic Great Ocean Drive you can do. The scenic drive starts and ends in Esperance. There are several lookouts and all of them are worth to stop. One beach is more beautiful than the other. Some of the beaches are great for swimming too. You will also pass the pink lake lookout, whereas the lake is not pink anymore. According to locals the pink color is gone since years.
Camping in the Cape Le Grand National Park
Lucky Bay Campsite
- Costs: AUD 10 per person, toilets and showers, BBQ’s with tables (the gas stoves were out of order during our visit)
- About 60 sites above the bay, most of them with sea view, overlooking the Lucky Bay. Only a few campsites with shade.
The Lucky Bay campsite is under construction. A lot has already been completed but work and improvements are still going on (March 2017).
Tip: Watch the sunrise at the beach in the Lucky Bay
Esperance Bay / Le Grand Beach Campsite
- Costs: AUD 10 per person, toilets, showers, BBQ’s
- Campsites in the bush and lots of them in the shade
The campsites in Cape Le Grand National Park are very popular. If you want a spot in high season, you should go to the national park very early. There is an information board at the entrance to the park with the availability of campsites.
We were lucky and we got a campsite in the Lucky Bay Campground. The Le Grand Beach was already fully booked at lunch time.
How to get to the Cape Le Grand National Park
The Cape Le Grand National Park is approximately 60 km east of Esperance. If you are driving south during your Western Australia Road Trip, make sure you don’t miss the kangaroos at Lucky Bay in the Cape Le Grand National Park. Those who stay in town can discover the national park in one day but we recommend to camp in the park for at least one or two nights.
- Entrance fee to the National Park: AUD 12 per day/vehicle
- If you have a Holiday Pass for 4 weeks (AUD 44) or a One Year Pass (AUD 88) you can drive through.
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Have you ever visited Cape Le Grand National Park? Which animal would you love to see in the wild?